The Tale of Two Militia: Janjaweed vs Liyu Police

Today, the Liyu Police invaded Miesso district and injured elementary school kids by throwing a hand grenade on them. When Oromia Police responded in defense, the Ethiopian Military appeared to disarm and arrest them. Just like the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese National Force, Liyu Police and the Ethiopian Defense Forces are attacking the innocent Oromo. As we speak, operation is still there and the worst is yet to come.

Since 1956, Sudan has been ravaged by war. In Darfur, the war has led to ethnic cleansing on a massive scale during the peak years of the war, 2003–2005, in which more than 300,000 Darfuri civilians have been killed and and approximately 3 000 000 people were forcibly exiled, an event in which both the government and the local militia conspired the killings.

The Sudanese government provided incentives in the form of payment and access to loot, as well as promises of access to land and administrative power. Sudanese officials also identified key tribal leaders from the northern Riziegat to coordinate the recruitment: Sheikh Musa Hilal, a leader of the Um Jalul clan of the Mahamid, became the lynchpin for recruitment of militias in northern Darfur. Since June 2003, he has become emblematic of the role of the militia forces in the attacks on civilians and the impunity conferred upon them by the Sudanese government.

The worst atrocities are committed by the Um Jalul of Musa Hilal because historically they have tensions with the Fur and Zaghawa. They’re all camel herders, not cattle herders, and they have no respect for farmers, they have a superiority complex and they need their camels. When the war started, the Sudanese government asked Musa Hilal to be the leader of the Janjaweed.

In 2007, an version of Jajaweed militia was established in Ethiopia’s Ogaden Region. It was created and led by Abdi Mohammed Omar (“Abdi Illey”), the current president of Somali Regional State, who was then the regional security chief, with direct order from Meles Zenawi. At first, many thought Liyu Police was created to counter the growing ONLF fighters insurgency mostly after the events of April 2007, in which the rebel groups attached the Chinese Oil company operating in Ogaden.

For the time both Meles and Abdi Illey succeeded in abating ONLF’s further advance, but the mission of Liyu Police didn’t stopped there. After Meles died in 2012, Abdi Illey had been organizing the most aggressive force by recruiting thousands of youth from his loyal clan. Now, there are forty five thousand strong paramilitary forces operating in Ogaden committing heinous crime against innocent civilians. The Liyu police have frequently been implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and violence against people in the Somali region, as well as in retaliatory attacks against local communities, according human right watch report.

Since December 2016, credible reports have emerged of Liyu police incursions into the neighboring Oromia region covering 24 districts and more than 200 localities bordering Somali – Oromia Region. This aggressive force have been conducting extrajudicial killings, looting properties and displacing thousands and tens of thousands of innocent Oromo from their ancestral land.

Reports have been emerging that the Ethiopian defense forces deployed around the border are helping Liyu Police by disarming local Oromo militias and Oromia Police. Evidences found from eyewitnesses and from killed military Identity Card indicated that men from defense forces have engaged in the random attacks and TPLF military Generals are supervising the operations of Liyu Police. With such operations more 1,500 innocent Oromo have lost their lives, thousands forcely displaced and property have been looted.

Today, the Liyu Police invaded Miesso district and injured elementary school kids by throwing a hand grenade on them. When Oromia Police responded in defense, the Ethiopian Military appeared to disarm and arrest them. Just like the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese National Force, Liyu Police and the Ethiopian Defense Forces are attacking the innocent Oromo. As we speak, operation is still there and the worst is yet to come.

 By Lammii Beenyaa

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About advocacy4oromia

The aim of Advocacy for Oromia-A4O is to advocate for the people’s causes to bring about beneficial outcomes in which the people able to resolve to their issues and concerns to control over their lives. Advocacy for Oromia may provide information and advice in order to assist people to take action to resolve their own concerns. It is engaged in promoting and advancing causes of disadvantaged people to ensure that their voice is heard and responded to. The organisation also committed to assist the integration of people with refugee background in the Australian society through the provision of culturally-sensitive services.

Posted on September 7, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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